THE name Jake Nakic may not mean much to A-League fans but the Melbourne Knights attacking midfielder has become a hot property in the VPL.
The powerfully built 20-year-old has banged in seven goals for Andrew Marth’s side in league and Cup competitions this season.
The Knights claimed another scalp under Marth last weekend, defeating league-leaders Dandenong Thunder 1-0 at Knights Stadium.
Nakic’s goal was the difference between the two sides in what’s been described as the upset of the season.
And it’s been largely due to Nakic’s form that the former NSL club are now sitting sixth on the 12-team VPL ladder after a slow start to the campaign.
Last year, Nakic struggled with a hip injury after being part of the Victory youth set up (though his brother Adam currently plays for Victory youth).
But regular game time this season at the Knights has seen the playmaker blossom in senior football.
Nakic’s physique and technique are fuelling comparisons with Nike Chance winner and Central Coast Mariner Tom Rogic.
Rogic rose from obscurity to win the Chance trials to bag a contract at the Nike Academy and be offered a contract with newly promoted EPL club Reading.
Visa issues got in the way however and Rogic returned to light up the A-League last season.
Another coaching insider has likened Nakic to former Socceroo Oscar Crino.